DENTAL VISIT: Dentists Say Visit Early

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There are new recommendations for new parents when it comes to their kids' teeth.

Dental habits have changed a lot over the last several decades.    Dental advocates say it`s time for them to change a bit more. 

Chances are, your first trip to a dentist came at an age you were old enough to remember.

You probably recall the silly voices and the toy at the end.

But here`s eight-month old Miles, he`s up in the big chair with all four of his teeth.

Dr. Nick Waage says, “The question we get a lot is `my child has 3, 4, 5 teeth, what good is this early visit?` And the good of this visit is that it opens parents` eyes to something they hadn`t considered before.”

And that is starting kids much earlier.  The program, backed by dentists and Delta Dental of Iowa is called 'Dentist by One'

Suzanne Heckenlaible with Delta Dental says, “Our goal is that Iowa children 0-12 would be cavity free by 2020.”

According to Delta, only 8% of Iowa`s insured children see a dentist before age one, and the earlier connection, the better the chances of developing good habits.

Heckenlaible says, “It`s about developing a relationship with the dentist and the parent but also the child and the child understanding that it`s not a scary thing to see the dentist.”

The Centers for Disease Control says cavities are on the rise in children between two and five years of age. a stat Dr. Nick Waage won`t dispute.

He says, “Increased frequency of snacking, just different high-sugar foods kids have access to, the three meal a day plan I think has been replaced by the 7-8 meal a day plan, and it`s just a constant acid exposure for these kids and the end result is cavities at a younger age.”

There`s a challenge to asking someone to say 'Ahh' before he`s old enough to say anything at all, but Waage says it`s one that almost always goes better than you might think.

He says, “Tell parents keep even expectations and most of the kids get through just absolutely fine and there`s age-appropriate behaviors for ones and twos and we see the whole spectrum.”

You don`t need a virus to see a doctor, maybe you don`t need teeth to grab a seat in here.  It`s all about keeping up.

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